Archive: June 2012 - Howard Dyck

Farewell to the Middle Kingdom!

  • June 29, 2012

As the doomsday preacher puts it ever so subtly, "The end is near!" After 4 momentous, experience-laden months filled with boundless pleasures and thrills and surprises, and a few setbacks and challenges, we are about to turn the page on what has easily been the most unusual chapter of our life so far. On Sunday we fly out of Kunming's spanking new airport (it opened just yesterday and is heralded as one of the largest and most advanced airports in all of China) to Taipei, Taiwan to spend a week with Anthony and Vanessa and our 2 lovely granddaughters. Then, on July 8, a very long day will bring...

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Ancient Chinese Curse Subdued by the Chinese Dragon!

  • June 21, 2012

OK, with a title like that, I have some splainin' to do! But I'm going to keep you waiting for a bit.  First I want to tell you about the utterly delightful and charming conclusion to my time with the choir and orchestra on the new (Chenggong) campus of the university. The orchestra, as I've mentioned on several occasions, has been struggling with the Mozart Violin Concerto #3 in G+ and the Beethoven Symphony #1. I decided that our final time together should be a "performance" of these 2 works, which is to say, we would actually play through these works from beginning to end. A few friends of the players...

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A Chinese Seventh Inning Stretch

  • June 10, 2012

This is one of the spectacular scenes that greets us whenever we stroll through the Green Lake park. We've grown to love this idyllic spot in the centre of the city. Last time I checked in I told you all about my wonderful week of rehearsals with the Kunming Symphony Orchestra. Let's pick it up there. Less than a week after the concert I got a call from Lu Hao Yin, the public relations manager with the orchestra. I've mentioned him before - he's a violinist and the only English-speaking person in the orchestra's administrative staff. He and the vice-director (the director was in Moscow on orchestra-related...

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